The Mangakino sole mother-of-two had been looking forward to moving into a self-contained cabin being transported to her father’s property the same day. Unfortunately, the lockdown meant her cabin couldn’t be delivered, and with her father’s house being unsuitable for the young family, she was stranded with nowhere to go.
“We ended up in a Women’s Refuge safehouse in Tokoroa for the first part of the lockdown,” says Celesse. “It was a bit hard for me being away from my hometown and the support I’d had from my paeārahi, Leanne. But we had video calls and continued to work on the goals I had prior to lockdown.”
Moving into her cabin was never far from Celesse’s mind, so she was excited when she learned the cabin was being delivered to her father’s section and she could return to Mangakino. Leanne arranged for the water and plumbing to be connected so the young family could use the shower and toilet. She also organised a hygiene pack and food box for Celesse and her two children.
“It was such a stress relief because it meant I could come back to my hometown, where I had whānau support and community support from Whānau Ora. My son is hyperactive, and I found it difficult handling it on my own in Tokoroa, especially because we weren’t allowed to come-and-go because we were in a safehouse,” says Celesse.
“It’s been good getting back into a routine – back home, kids back into their room, and I’m back into my studies. I’m so grateful for the help we’ve received.”